Google Health OneBox is a boost for NLM’s MedlinePlus — As discussed previously, though, a few tweaks could make it an even bigger boost. A problem not discussed in the previous article is the “MedlinePlus” name — It has little user recognition, and therefore gets considerably less traffic than it might with a better name. In the NLM Update at the recent Midwest Chapter/Medical Library Association meeting, NLM staffer Paula Kitendaugh said some people at NLM are aware of this, and that a different name would likely do better in Google OneBox, but that so far bureaucratic inertia has prevented a name-change.

Realizing how slowly the wheels turn in a large organization like NLM, then, a better name for MedlinPlus is probably unlikely to happen soon. But how about a quick fix for the name of the link in Google OneBox, to take advantage of the fire-hose of potential traffic from Google? My idea for a simple change, that I think would draw more traffic, as shown in the enhanced screen shot here, is to change the link name from “Medline Plus” to “Natl Lib Med.” I think this simple abbreviation would be recognized and respected by users, and boost clicks to NLM.

As far as a new name for MedlinePlus, I don’t have any ideas so far. If anyone else does, please make a comment, or send to me via email or Twitter.

Accompanying article: MedlinePlus & Google Health OneBox

Eric Rumsey is at: eric-rumsey AttSign uiowa dott edu and on Twitter @ericrumsey

6 thoughts on “MedlinePlus Needs a New Name

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  2. Great idea re. “Nat Lib Med” for the Google Health OneBox. I think you’re right — that has more gravitas and authority, which is going to attract more folks to the link.

    Here’s a new name for MedlinePlus: PubMedPlus. Just kidding. I can’t think of a good one at the moment either. My wheels are turning, though.

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  5. I think that changing the name from “Medline Plus” to “Nat Libr Med” would be better in Google’s Health OneBox than what you currently propose (“Nat Lib Med”), as it makes it clearer that it’s from the library by simply adding the “r” — “Libr” instead of “Lib.”

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